OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Glyphosate is being banned immediately in picnic areas in the East Bay Regional Park District, district officials said Wednesday.

The change was decided Tuesday by the East Bay Regional Park District board of directors, who voted unanimously in favor of Resolution 2019-07-187.

The resolution also calls for the complete elimination of glyphosate from all developed park areas by the end of 2020.

Park district officials said glyphosate is used in the park district’s pest integration management program to prevent fires from starting and maintain vegetation around park property.

In a statement, East Bay Regional Park District president Ayn Wieskamp said, “The Park District has taken large steps over the past two years to reduce glyphosate use and find alternatives.”

District officials said they realize that residents have concerns about the use of glyphosate.

They said that in 2016 the district started focusing on early intervention strategies and using organic products rather than glyphosate when possible.

In the past two years, the district has reduced its use of glyphosate for park maintenance by 66 percent.

In a statement, district general manager Robert Doyle said, “The Park District does not use glyphosate near play areas or water fountains.”

District officials said it will take a lot of money and impact the general fund and staffing levels in order to phase out glyphosate in developed park areas.

District staff members have been asked by the board of directors to tell the board the amount of people and money that will be needed.

The phasing out of glyphosate in the park district comes as litigation mounts against Monsanto, which makes Roundup, a weed killer containing glyphosate that at least one jury has decided causes cancer.  Another jury decided Roundup was a substantial factor in causing the cancer in two married Livermore residents.

Courts have awarded at least two Bay Area residents millions of dollars in their cancer cases against Monsanto.

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